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A Small Reflection on the Tempore of Modern Philosophy
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Bryan Carr



Joined: 29 Sep 2007
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Location: Seattle, Washington, USA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2014 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hullo all, so sorry to be late to the party and come smashing in like Alcibiades, except, alas, sober and no flute-girls either. So not very like Alcibiades after all. But then, I will try to eschew "like-" statements, similes being too similar to the metaphors Avital begs us to dispense with. I'm not too sure of this, but --

I have re-read Avital's initial post at the head of this thread, and find it rife with metaphor (to say nothing of her books, a couple of which I have also read, back in the day), so I take it the objection is not to the trope as such but with certain deployments thereof. I am unclear about the precise question that is being asked--though there is of course no requirement that a question be posed, or posed directly. I have not made it through the whole of her long and (so far) admirably-written disquisition on the Genetic Circle. Moreover, I am a bit startled by the sweeping assessment of the remedial level of discussion. (Brrrr.) But.

But I'll start with what I like -- the suggestion that "personal philosophy," a thing hitherto unknown, erupted upon the scene with the advent of Nietzsche. I am not a scholar of the period, but I suspect that as usual, one could scrounge about for "precursors" -- Stirner, Emerson, Montaigne... but the notion I am resonating with is the suggestion that "personal philosophy" was really a kind of mutation, "an obscenity," Avital calls it.

Mind you, I don't believe it. I think philosophy will be "personal," or it will not be at all, to not-quote Andre Breton. But it's undeniable that the style of this "personal" seems to shift between Plato -- even his heartbreaking poem for Dion, "who made my heart mad with love" -- and Nietzsche getting dizzy spells by Sils-Maria. This shift in tone deserves to be understood.

My own guess is that it had pretty much everything to do with the advent of and development of Christianity. And yes, capitalism.

I may have seriously misunderstood Avital's point, of course.

This doesn't even get us to the beginning of the question about "starting with what's in front of you," and by the way I think Pete's exercise about the mirror in the empty room is a good one; but I'll break off for now.

~~b.
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Avital Ronell
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anything but repeating a worn-out trope, regularly drumming on one unvariegated premise that everyone here knows, is beyond you, you’re an idiot. People who aren't interested in serious things are idiots. When one has a hammerlock on the truth one is unavailable for conversation.

The beginning of the Politeia comes to mind, however, my interest is not in opposing not listening & brute force to logos; conversation and understanding, but to suggest what we might gain by stepping aside from the Greek distinction, without forgetting that we know of it. One can work with more than one horizon.

---

It’s only in the present thread, here where I wished to have some help, where I feel descriptive metaphor is inadequate. I don’t wish to bring restraints to language, but to stay close to the world-like stuff, that which is immediately around about us. Much much closer is what we want, not a confusion that is the result of not being able to translate the intention of an analogy. If there is an analogy say what it means, don’t open a wasteful can of worms, useless entanglements.

We come with a thousand and one formal presupposition. Yea, but we don’t need to insist on them, to be inflexible. So far it has even been impossible to make an ad hoc definition, to purpose one, for the mere sake of conversation.

The claim about Nietzsche is empirical. It’s not controversial. Philosophers in the past thought of themselves as impersonal. It’s simply that retroactively we can read them as personal. You only need to go study them and you will see that. We don’t only have to attribute this to Nietzsche, as if to add glory to some man, but everything is usually concentrated in a few articulate mouths and it helps us to say, Nietzsche understood it so, then we avoid the flow of objections, not what we say, what he did. We can show ourselves an idea that way.

However, in this case, there is empirical knowledge. Around the year 1900, to take one or two cases, let us not complicate things too much, the concept of eg creativity, Nietzsche's idea, came into the German universities, some time later it spread to the other universities, and after the first war it began to conquer the world, along with the fact value distinction. Around the year 1840 values were a notion in the German universities that were meant to deal with everything left over by the sciences. More than just the moral qualities. Nietzsche used that. Now, it happened that these ideas came into the administration offices of lower schools, until at length, every kindergarten student, asked to write some little paper about their holidays, as Strauss tells us, is told to do some creative writing. That is how it happens.

You say: ‘My own guess is that it had pretty much everything to do with the advent of and development of Christianity’ That simply makes no sense. I suppose what you have in mind is that Christianity gives all human beings a kind of equality, and so an individuality. You could argue that there is in some way a preparation for what happens later in that. But, it is really very far from the distinctive idea in Nietzsche, excuse me for the fact that it is not really related.

You say: ‘And yes, capitalism.’ That also makes no real sense. What phenomena do you have in mind? Labour? That is the center of the theory of capitalism & communism at their inception. Individuality? It is not the main thing here, since modern mathematical natural science, the most objective doctrine of all, is coextensive and coeval with capitalism. Stemming from the 17th century doctrine of production and progress. The register is different. Isn’t that what you meant, individualism? It is quite different than Nietzsche’s idea. What prepares Nietzsche is Darwin (can you see how the word 'obscene' comes in here, think of the reaction to Darwin's ideas, how they struck people who were stuck on traditional views. 'Convulsing' is the word Henry Adams used). A much narrower and much later vein of the Enlightenment. Almost not part of it. In some ways more devastating to thought.

I think it is simply not possible to litigate this here, because it would take a whole course just for that. I think for instance that whoever has spent many years with the volumes of earlier thinker will understand this, where they were coming form. That there were many doctrines, and differences collected with great intensity, does not say that it follows, these are the truths of this or that man. They were purposed as universal truths, in a way much like the idea of mathematical nature, that idea from which all authority today flows from. However, the connection to the present subject is this, if there are no fixed essences, that means time goes all the way into the heart of things, and thus there are no island that stand outside of time. God died (he was not what he was always believed to be, deathless). Because of this there can be no objective, or impersonal (to use the older conceptualization), doctrines.

We could perhaps begin with that if your ‘interests’ allow it. However, my main purpose, was to get directly to the matter of historicism in the world as it stands, in the beings here and there before us. This is where these problems have begun.
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Peter Blumsom



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'll leave this to you, Bryan. She has already learned to be bored with what I love.
Pete
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Bryan Carr



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PostPosted: Fri Nov 14, 2014 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avital Ronell wrote:
Anything but repeating a worn-out trope, regularly drumming on one unvariegated premise that everyone here knows, is beyond you, you’re an idiot.


This is not a promising beginning for a dialogue. But I am genuinely willing to try again here. Avital, I actually consider myself a fan -- in my early 20's I genuinely loved (and was veritably thrown off-course by) The Telephone Book, to say nothing of Stupidity, in which I more recently recognized myself plenty -- but I shan't insult you by acting as though sycophancy is the way to your esteem.

I'm even willing to stipulate, for the sake of argument, that, as you put it,

Quote:
People who aren't interested in serious things are idiots. When one has a hammerlock on the truth one is unavailable for conversation.


In particular the latter sentence rings as obvious. I have guesses and stammered intuitions and usually I end up as tongue-tied as poor Meno. Philosophy is, in a word, difficult. Speaking only for myself.

Quote:
what we might gain by stepping aside from the Greek distinction, without forgetting that we know of it. One can work with more than one horizon.


To this, I can only say, hear, hear.

As to the new "personal philosophy" of Nietzsche, you write:

Quote:
The claim about Nietzsche is empirical. It’s not controversial. Philosophers in the past thought of themselves as impersonal. It’s simply that retroactively we can read them as personal. You only need to go study them and you will see that.


(As an aside, I should register in the interests of honesty that my first response here was a defensive, "Ah. That's it! Idiot me, I forgot to study them!" I am assuming, however, that this was mere thin-skinnedness on my part, and that you meant nothing by it at all.)

As re. Nietzsche, it's (as you say) uncontroversial that he marks a significant sea-change. I certainly defer to your scholarship of 19th-c German history & culture. (Hence I will stipulate all you relate about Prussian schools, for instance.) The difference between reading Nietzsche and, say, Spinoza, who N even claimed as a precursor ("and what a precursor!") is certainly describable as the difference between encountering a personal and an impersonal presentation. And yet.

It isn't just a perverse desire to question the horizon of consensus that makes me wonder about whether reading philosophers as "personal" is something more than our retrojective action upon them. Yes, I got a tremendous rush out of reading The Post Card back in the early '90s and seeing plato and Socrates dance to the tune JD piped, but it also became clear to me that Socrates, whether he is "Socrates" or Socrates, is as solid and three-dimensional a person as I've ever met in literature. We can certainly put that through any number of crit-theory sieves until we are left with "what do you mean, a person met in literature?" and I will be baffled and self-contradictory again. But all I mean to emphasize here is that here, at the "beginning" (another problematic word) of "philosophy," we have, not the impersonal hypostatization of geometrical method, but, just this person, Socrates.

The aspiration of philosophy to the impersonal -- the apparent subtraction of every relevant detail, the ascent away from biographical trivia into the heights of insight -- it seems to me that this is what needs to be explained first. What happened between Socrates, this character as unmistakable as Hamlet or Dr. Johnson or Guenevere, and the impersonal Descartes or Spinoza? Perhaps N was able to so forcefully deliver what had been presaged in Montaigne and Jacobi and Stirner because he could reach back as far as the Greeks and grasp their spirit more surely? Because was so keen a philologist?

You dismiss my -- admittedly very broad-brush -- guess that Christianity and capitalism both played into Nietzsche's reversal of this process. With regards to christianity, I confess I was pretty inexact -- there's been 2,000+ years of it after all -- but I think your dismissal ("That simply makes no sense") rather overstates the case. Still, I can't say I feel like arguing about it. I'd rather play Deleuze's card here and say, Fine, let's talk about something else. However, as re. capitalism, you ask me a question--

Quote:
That also makes no real sense. What phenomena do you have in mind? Labour? That is the center of the theory of capitalism & communism at their inception. Individuality? It is not the main thing here, since modern mathematical natural science, the most objective doctrine of all, is coextensive and coeval with capitalism. Stemming from the 17th century doctrine of production and progress. The register is different. Isn’t that what you meant, individualism?


I was to some degree thinking of individualism, but also of the slow invention of the citizen-as-consumer, the one for whom the market supplies all that is needed for the project of "being an individual." I was riffing -- no doubt very inexpertly -- on your musings at the very top of the thread, to wit:

Quote:
Did the dissatisfaction with the death of the impersonal philosophies lead to the encouraging thought that now we have impersonal producers of theories, that are not quite knowledge, not truth?


This notion of "theory" -- "not quite knowledge, not truth", but apparently something that can be deployed in the project of "individuating" (but to what end?) -- a kind of bet-hedging, not-quite-committed "discourse" (as they used to say) -- seems almost perfectly isomorphic with the fetish as product.

I'm omitting to argue for a great deal here, because you are quite right, there's more than enough material here for a whole course. But to come to what I take it is the heart of your own inquiry -- and I don't at all claim to have an "answer" for you (that would be idiocy) --

Quote:
the connection to the present subject is this, if there are no fixed essences, that means time goes all the way into the heart of things, and thus there are no island that stand outside of time. God died (he was not what he was always believed to be, deathless). Because of this there can be no objective, or impersonal (to use the older conceptualization), doctrines.
We could perhaps begin with that if your ‘interests’ allow it. However, my main purpose, was to get directly to the matter of historicism in the world as it stands, in the beings here and there before us.


I am interested in a great deal, but my ability to be a helpful interlocutor depends upon my ability to understand what is being asked. OK, you are pursuing the question of historicism. If there is no X, but only us saying "X", then where is our purchase... where do we stand for our perspective, long enough even to say "X"?

I'm going to ask an elementary question first (and not merely rhetorically) -- have we not abolished the apparent world along with the "real" one?

I'm admittedly at a loss in the face of historicism (and from "relativism," a word you don't use in the post I'm looking at, but which is often coupled with historicism), as much as anyone -- and I can see why some have recoiled from it in one direction or another. At the same time, i don't see that there is any obvious knock-down argument against it (aside from stupid ones that think to make a gotcha-moment out of high-falutin' sounding terms like "performative contradiction.") Relativism seems to me to constitute a problem that just is the context for thinking -- not just today but in Plato's day too. In short, it isn't so much a question I can answer as an aspect of the continual "resistance of materials" to thought.

I'm tempted to cut the entirety of this post except for this final paragraph, but I'll leave it be for now.
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Mark Stocks



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Bryan and Good Company

I'm just a small fish in a small circle swimming double you-holes and splashing up musings that I don't know yet for the sake of fun but not at the expense of serious stuff!

More to the point (and points made)

Does this small modern circle that speaks volumes now largely encompass the whole of history in it's commitment to:

Making excuses about not committing to being present in thinking out loud through an immutable horn that silence made???

What does that mean? I don't know but...

Are we committed to being present in thinking out loud through a golden horn that we can now hear?

So that thinking is not wasted but finally here?

On the way of the way of the work, may it be done?

I don't believe it does any harm amongst all this learned and committed work.

Let's splash back in time and see what we can do

Fully immersed en emit

P.S.

As you can probably see, I don't know much about this stuff, that's why we need to help each other.


Mark
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Avital Ronell
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 24, 2014 7:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Watch Roberto Rossellini’s excellent film Cartesius; you'll find out Descartes was as exciting a character as anyone. I suspect what you have in mind are the truths he purposed. Socrates also purposed very cold truths. That Socrates was a great gossip, that he knew his neighbors, that he was a nice man, and a spectacular character do not remove the fact of the chilling coldness of the truths he died for. Do you remember his companions reaction to his decision to die? The perplexity, didn’t that have somthing to do with the terrible permafrost of that decision, to die for theory, for thesis? For law, for nomos. The theoretical issue is the rule of thesis over phusis. Of what Nietzsche would call the subjugation of the woman by the man—a sexist notion!

To get our instinct about this argument, that Socrates was a ‘theoretical man’ we should look at the Greek dramas. Out of the Hesiodic tradition, and carrying over into Sophocles and others, there is a tradition of the juxtaposition of the city of Hubris with the city of Dike. The subjugation of nature can come only from law. The city of hubris is a mafia city. the city of Dike is ruled by law. Law is cold, indifferent, masculine and analytic. The tyrant is hot blooded, ravenous and appetitive, she eats up her subjects.

So this is what is meant by the impersonal in Socrates. It has to do with truth, clear eyed, eternally, cold.

I think you are in good faith, but so far you do not see the ground we want to get to. Are these arguments helpful, if you don’t like them we can look for some you will like better. That is possible when one is dealing with good faith interlocutors, open in some way to being persuaded.

By impersonal I am also speaking of all the Dogmatic schools of the middle ages. The Epicureans and Platonists and Aristotelians and so on. Is not dogma, the apodictic, addressed to truth? And is not truth always impersonal?

I think you are generally just barging on with your talk of capitalism, because you can't explain to yourself what you mean by capitalism. If you had to do that how would you start? I suspect you would look around with the eyes. But capitalism began as a theory, it has a theoretical basis with Locke and Hobbes, and it lead to the founding of the Bank of England (after a period of free floating public debts offers out of the 1660s). That is the real practical beginning of capitalism. We would have to look closely at that. What we would find was that capitalism is purposed as a truth.

It would be nice to look at all these things, but it is enormously time consuming. We must find our way with orientations, not exactitudes.

""‘This notion of "theory" -- "not quite knowledge, not truth", but apparently something that can be deployed in the project of "individuating" (but to what end?) -- a kind of bet-hedging, not-quite-committed "discourse" (as they used to say) -- seems almost perfectly isomorphic with the fetish as product.’"

That isn't due to capitalism, the fetish. I see what you mean but it is not the result of capitalism, it is rather that in capitalism, as in all times and at all places, there is a primary direction of everything in the world, all the objects, such that each one, when we look closely, has some primary meaning, and guides us forward in ways that we can only grasp dimly, because they are obscured, perhaps by history, or perhaps by the fact that truth loves to hide. So, a simple example, by analogy, of a historical world, or an ideological world, is a Starbucks. I go in there and the things there are primarily coffee cups, primarily chairs, primarily the things that are in the service of that meaning: Starbucks. And yet I know that a chair is wooden, that it might be broken down and used as firewood, but that is not what it is in that world. If I used it as firewood I would get a bad conscience, I would be a stepson of the Starbucks, I would be anti-. Something is behind it, this fetish effect that Freud, for instance plunged into, there is a strange thrownness, to use Heidegger's term.

That is all very vexed, the point I wish to make is that it is no result of so-called capitalism, but rather something that can be seen there too. If we thought that it was we would be taking capitalism as a natural object, whereas it is nothing but fixed arrangements, frozen politics. So the strata we want to get at is deeper than that. With Nietzsche we need to look at production, that of the senses, the particular way our senses have a provenance, and that of our thought, our orientations, the way they have their provenance. We sink below the level of Kantian concepts with Nietzsche, it is a Darwinian register. It evades the problem of where the idealism of the natural sciences, the mathamatical concept of nature is made, because it looks, like Darwin to the fact of success. It is a kind of backward teleology, that has a practical observable manifestation. You can see a specific modification of this view in Benjamin. I don’t know just what you read, there is a great problem with the current English-literature type teaching. We need to understand Nietzsche and the Germans (also Hegel must be understood this way) as dealing with science (not in the current sense of natural mathematical science, but in the sense of the epistemic problem, what is knowledge?), with the epistemic question, what is science or knowledge? One is always likely to get mixed up with that because today Nietzsche is called a poet or a writer, nothing could be further from the truth.

Historical relativism means that there are historical worlds, different worlds. A man from a remote region of the Amazon, when he sees a Starbucks, doesn't find the same being there that we do, he doesn't know what to do there. One can find the sum of such differences making up a world. And the worlds are made up of the things one takes for granted, such as that we make a distinction between men and animals, and that everyone understands (this is the meaning of the attack on newspapers Nietzsche and Heidegger, thoughtless appropriation) immediately what is meant by ‘subjective opinion’ in our time. I mentioned something about this in my essay on art, giving some other examples.

Its focus is on reason, the focus on Language in our own time is due to historicism. Because language is the closest artifact of older forms of reasoning.

Relativism is structured in the same way as ancient skepticism. Skepticism is the result of the great many views, each purposed as a truth, of the philosophers, and of the opinions grown up here and there amongst peoples, those who were impressed by this variety became skeptics. That is a matter of convention and phusis. In the same way the relativists view the historical worlds, or cultures. Lyotard’s postmodern.

Historicists, the way I use the term, are not relativists (neither do I mean Philosophy of History). I speak of all this in the Treatise on the Genetic Circle. If I say I can see many worlds at once, I am a postmodernist, the common term for that is multiculturalism. It means that each world is not a full world, but a thing that has to fit on the shelf of the view that says, go see and delight in all the varieties.
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Bryan Carr



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PostPosted: Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Avital,

I've wearied my eyes and attention-span out in response to a different thread, but I wanted to acknowledge your points here. Your response is a lovely hybrid of charitable reading and no-punches-pulled. I strongly approve what you say here --
Quote:
That is possible when one is dealing with good faith interlocutors, open in some way to being persuaded.


I've often thought that the only way to get to the real I-Thou of things is to honestly take what I'd call the risk of conversion.

As to (some of) your remarks that struck home -- this will be cursory but I want to give some indication of the thinking I am doing off-screen.

First, you may be right that I have not thought carefully enough re. capitalism -- maybe I am too quickly using some readymade tropes, and not using them well at that. I'm going to think about what you say re. the intellectual genesis of capitalism. I also was quite struck by your Starbucks excursion. Sort of reminded me of Heidegger staring at that broken hammer in his hand -- but it doesn't collapse to the vorhanden, it just switches from zu- to zu-. If I treat the wooden chair in Starbucks as firewood, I am still not stumped by its mere being, but you are certainly right that I have moved into a different world from the Starbucksian world.

I certainly take your point that this world-construal predates capital and is simply harnessed by it.

Re. Benjamin, like most Americans I began with the two anthologies, edited by Arendt and by Demetz. More recently I have read a good deal of Vol 2 of the collected writings.

I see that I misunderstood you when I too readily aligned your use of the term "historicism" w/ relativism. Clearly I will have to read the whole Treatise on the Genetic Circle, and carefully.
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Avital Ronell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 01, 2014 2:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This pas de deux with the other is sometimes more straitjacketed, sometimes more hi-lo or serenely de haut en bas, it is not so even-handed and fair, not ever, don't believe that even if I tell you.

Yea, but I am not speaking of Heidegger here, (although you are quite right by nose, I would say so) but of the relation of the categories to values. Are you reacting to the sense of the critique in Gadamer (the focus on the ‘da’ over the sein), & his far-worse successors like Harman and that worthy pomp of, so-to-speak, thinkers? Those are not philosophers, they are teachers of philosophy, that is a grave distinction, it has to do with talent as the basis of our understanding and insight. Since I don’t know where you stand, how far you are in thought, I try to give a preparatory avenue, to provide the basic text, as mere acquaintance. Of course being has to do with the challenging of the da and the sein, in that there-is an opening there disclosed.

So you see, I do not know where you stand, and how far your thought is degraded by the general level of decay. Whereas arbitrary and unreasonable interpretations of the expression, the word, capitalism, are now prevalent in the so-called social sciences is part of that decay.

Did you notice capitalism means almost the same as history, an historical world, with certain so-called theorists that are today very popular with the social sciences, and the journals of ethnography, sociology and so on? So that that expression does not in practice mean the thing opposed to Feudalism, but almost the same as dear life simply. This decay, that connected with the Enlightenment, with the authority of the scientists over the philologists and philosophers, with the espousing of boring and stupid doctrinaire lacking not so much probity but insight, it's there eg with the fundamental stupidity of folks like Durkheim. It comes more clear when we see what they did, that he, for example, simply lifted the philosophical insights of his betters and made them political, with minor changes, that is, they shallowed and hallowed them. Put them in the service of romance, the songs that put us to sleep at night when we are very young.

Do you take the point about truth, you say nothing, with the Greeks? That is almost the main thing. Because truth is what always is, it is impersonal, not dependent on persons (or experience, or the finite).

Yea, it is good if you read a somewhat more elevated text like that of Benjamin because you get a sense of what is at stake, though without the philosophical work we want, without the tradition we need to revivify in its rigour; in the assertion of its proper powers.

I’m sorry, it is entirely my fault, but you see person is a term of Roman Law, it is wrong to use it with Nietzsche, Nietzsche speaks only of men, not of persons. But I do that tendentiously, because I don’t want to get into this contest, the litigation of the terms superman and philosophy of future. I say personal and I mean (with respect to the deictic standing of the word, the connotation of the word) only, not impersonal. I say personal and for mere acquaintance I mean the philosophy of the future, I mean the philosophy of the superman, or perhaps of Zarathustra as the inner truth of Nietzsche himself. But that is too much to parse, and almost impossible, so I prefer personal, the formulation personal philosophy. It means life-giving lie, it means not true. But it must be constructed through careful acquaintance unto real familiarity with the ground of the thought.
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Bryan Carr



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PostPosted: Sat Dec 06, 2014 1:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avital,
Here is some indication of some of where I am coming from, responding to some of your queries.

I did not get my Heidegger, nor my interpretation (such as I have) of him, via Gadamer. I did read the latter’s Philosophical Hermeneutics once upon a time, but I could not quote you anything without pulling the book off the shelf. More recently, I did read Harman, but this was much, much later than reading Heidegger, and it had no impact upon my reception. As to Heidegger himself, being dependent upon translations clearly hobbles me. The Being and Time I read was Macqarrie/Robinson; I have looked at the more recent one (Stambaugh?) but don’t own it. I read the “red book” (Krell) of course, and later (on my own, not in classes) some of the collected works as they came out, in particular the famous ’29-’30 lectures; also the Principle of Reason. The book on Kant did not grip me as much when I attempted it; doubtless I should revisit it. As for the Contributions to Philosophy, which has pretty clearly vexed translators even more than usual, I have spent plenty of time with it, but I don’t feel I have any right to talk about it yet. To the degree that I have internalized a particular reading of Heidegger, it is probably most informed by Stanley Rosen, and to a lesser extent, Voegelin.

I am reading between the lines, butwhen you bring up Harman, you refer with some dismissiveness to “that worthy pomp of, so-to-speak, thinkers”, so here is where I stand as regards them.

I haven’t actually read Harman’s first book – which features Heidegger in the subtitle, if I’m not mistaken – but I read and enjoyed his second book quite a bit. And I did (and do) think that Meillassoux’s book, which Harman had both championed and critiqued, is a very fine work (succinct, challenging, and repaying repeated attention). On the other hand, the noise that this trend has made more recently online is a very mixed matter. Sociologically, so to speak, I have benefitted from it – it helped to make room for many people without letters after their names to have a much bigger role in a certain space of philosophical discussion. I have liked some of the renewed energy I’ve seen among the so-called Speculative Realists. I’ve liked the possibility of trying philosophy outside of received academic channels. But this clearly brings liabilities as well; one can jettison discipline along with moribund restrictions.

Moreover, there is in that movement a distressing and far too broad dismissal of both the last wave of critical theory, and indeed to an alarming extent, of Kantian critique per se. Nearly every great ill has been ostensibly traced to Kant’s door, for his poor “Copernican revolution.” I think this anti-kantian reaction is ill-considered and disastrous, but also that it will dwindle rapidly. A different matter is the apparent rejection by the speculative realists of deconstruction. It’s a case of pendulum-swinging. (Sorry for this trite metaphor, if I thought it wasn’t apt I wouldn’t use it, but in fact, the pendulum precisely doesn’t think about its swings.) To me, Deconstruction at its best was and remains a continuous lesson in subtlety, in making very careful distinctions and in seeing the limits of those distinctions; at catching yourself (above all) thinking by rote and learning, one more time, to start over. While I spent the Culture Wars (so called) off campus and muttering “a plague on both your houses,” it soon became obvious to me that deconstruction has seen something that was in philosophy all along. Where I differed from many was in suggesting that others had seen it too. Derrida rightly asserts that “philosophy always re-appropriates for itself the discourse that delimits it;” I regard this as a crucial insight; I simply deny that Plato would have considered it news. I did not care much for many, many of the lesser acolytes of deconstruction, but in the hands of a thinker, as opposed to a point-scorer (hey! Now there’s a binary!), it was deeply thought-provoking, unsettling, and yet weirdly fun all at once: i.e., philosophy. On the other hand, I did not fall into the group that felt that deconstruction was now the way to do philosophy, and when along came Badiou (I mean, of course, in translation) I thought to myself, “about time.” Suffice it to say, I am skeptical of trends, but also aware that this suspicion itself should be dealt with skeptically. So when the speculative realists (and I use the term advisedly) breezily make noises about going back zu den sachen selbst, and having done with “endless talking about texts…”, well, let us say I just smile and say, “you’ll be back.”

You say,
Quote:
I do not know where you stand, and how far your thought is degraded by the general level of decay.

There is a passage in Camus where he remarks, after having re-read his notebooks, the general absence of descriptions of landscapes, and concludes, “The modern cancer is gnawing me too.” I think it is safe to say that I am implicated in the general level of decay.
On a different point – about this “pas de deux,” you warn that
Quote:
it is not so even-handed and fair, not ever, don't believe that even if I tell you.


This reminded me of something early (in fact, the first page) in your conversations with Anne Dufourmantelle (in what I think is my favorite of your books): “What the act of philosophizing evokes for me isn’t wisdom of love but rather combat.”
Just a little later, you say, “Philosophy may not be as radiant, as openly positive, as its etymology seems to indicate. It is not necessarily on the side of life.”

This reminded me of a sentence from the preface to Brassier’s Nihil Unbound:
“Thinking has interests that do not coincide with those of living; indeed, they can and have been pitted against the latter.”

Now, obviously, a mere two sentences do not seeing eye-to-eye make; but I am bound to contrast both of these with the famous claim of Socrates – so famous as to be almost un-hearable now, a piece of philosophical kitsch (and a great deal of my own personal thinking has gone into trying to salvage it from this fate) – which stands as the little one-line summary for this study group forum when you look at the main page. Apology 38a: The unexamined life is not worth living.

Philosophy is indeed not identical with the side of “life” per se. You pointed us to the tragedians. In these writers there is a deep engagement with the question of whether life can be good. “Best of all for man is not to be born; and next-best, to die soon,” is the verdict of those who take this furthest. Socrates (or Plato) asserts, in the face of this, that there is a life that can be good. Not, indeed, just any life – that is the concession Socrates makes to the tragic vision – but a life. (If I were cleverer, I would try to riff on this in a deleuzian key.)

You ask if I take the point about the Greeks and the cold impersonal truths Socrates died for. In reflecting upon this, I remembered that Kierkegaard (in Philosophical Fragments) contrasts Socrates and Christ in a very specific way: Socrates is a teacher whose teaching is more important than him; Christ is a teacher Who is more important than His teaching. (I include the honorific capital letters to underscore the point.) I certainly accept that, in broad strokes, S.K. has got this right. Socrates would probably be astonished to hear me talk about philosophy as personal. You are also right that the provenance of the term “person” is Roman law. But I am thinking of it as turned inside-out via the church fathers and the Trinitarian controversies, as it is used to render prosopon (and also hypostasis). It isn’t that I believe Plato would readily speak of “personal truth,” at all. But I think Nietzsche was right to make this innovation – to bring to consciousness what had been implicit. When you write that
Quote:
the formulation personal philosophy… means life-giving lie, it means not true


I do indeed take your point; but for me (for the way I practice philosophy), philosophy is the wager, the gambit, that there is a genuine alliance between truth and life. This alliance is a particular method, if you will (bearing in mind the etymology) – a kind of “examination”, to be sure, but this needs to be parsed further. (Moreover, it will not be lost upon you that any talk about "way, truth, and life" in a single breath is laden with overtones.)

This is rather a disjointed missive, and I apologize for raising so many different issues. I know I am more thinking aloud here than properly answering you point-by-point. (This really would be better done, as you’ve noted, around a seminar table. Or, better yet, in a pub.) But you really are giving me welcome challenges and much occasion for not just making myself clear to myself, but re-thinking many of my conclusions. I’ll try to respond to the other thread soon.
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Avital Ronell
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 08, 2014 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

“Philosophy may not be as radiant, as openly positive, as its etymology seems to indicate. It is not necessarily on the side of life.”

Nietzsche… boring. The mundaneness of the remark should call our attention to the thing, to the thing of doing philosophy, to the thing of empty philosophizing. And then one is very old, philosophizing still, thinking of one’s legacy, of the futurity of the field. Because philosophy then is also something that simply is, it is not nothing. This is why we are not interested, why we become thinkers in the face of inessential things.

It is just as if your whole understanding is about following what can be put aside, ie, for the next fashion magazine, the next ‘challenge.’ This is what I don’t want to handout here, instead I want to associate with the most important questioning, the to be as it questions.

I assume you are aware that something like Will to Power can be understood as emotion, as not the giving-of-account or logic? And then can you follow Heidegger, in his rejection of all that? In the move towards time, to be (preferring the infinitive to ‘being’, Sein) as time? I want to litigate that ground, perhaps Heidegger has gone wrong there. This is the most deadly point for the questioning.

Quote:
“This reminded me of a sentence from the preface to Brassier’s Nihil Unbound:
“Thinking has interests that do not coincide with those of living; indeed, they can and have been pitted against the latter.””


What does ‘thinking’ mean here? If we want to analyze it, won’t it occur to us that Heidegger claims we human beings can not even think, even if it is possible, even if we might learn? Have you thought about this question? These Brassiers have no notion, outside giving account, outside thinking as they here name it, of such ground. Nietzsche retreats too early, that is what Heidegger points out to us in his essays on thinking. But I want to see what you say, though it is possible to begin to show much more of this issue that we may not yet be conscious of, even at the level of acquaintance, I myself believe to have found some familiarity beyond mere acquaintance with this issue.

Quote:
“Now, obviously, a mere two sentences do not seeing eye-to-eye make; but I am bound to contrast both of these with the famous claim of Socrates – so famous as to be almost un-hearable now, a piece of philosophical kitsch (and a great deal of my own personal thinking has gone into trying to salvage it from this fate) – which stands as the little one-line summary for this study group forum when you look at the main page. Apology 38a: The unexamined life is not worth living.

Philosophy is indeed not identical with the side of “life” per se. You pointed us to the tragedians. In these writers there is a deep engagement with the question of whether life can be good. “Best of all for man is not to be born; and next-best, to die soon,” is the verdict of those who take this furthest. Socrates (or Plato) asserts, in the face of this, that there is a life that can be good. Not, indeed, just any life – that is the concession Socrates makes to the tragic vision – but a life. (If I were cleverer, I would try to riff on this in a deleuzian key.) “


ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ(ho de anexetastos bios ou biôtos anthrôpôi)

‘The unexamined life is not worth living.’

The word ‘worth’ is not here. There are no values for the Greeks. There are best possible ways of being. One does not separate that and speak of things and values. Socrates is saying what the human being is.

ὁ δὲ ἀνεξέταστος βίος οὐ βιωτὸς ἀνθρώπῳ
“the unexamined ( ἀνεξέταστος) life (βίος) no life (οὐ βιωτὸς) man/human (ἀνθρώπῳ)”

What Socrates is saying is that a life, if it is to be regarded as human, is a life of inquiring. The question is about thinking, the thinking of the thinking animal. Thinking is the way we ask about what is there. This is what Heidegger means when he says staying with the question. It is the continuation of the human, of the inquiring that is the fate of the human up to the completion of metaphysics. Only in this last stage it is being that comes to thinking, as the questioning of the to be.

The tragedies are what Nietzsche points back to, because the city of hubris, the lawless city, belongs to life. Heidegger’s project revolves around the completion of this history, of the one started with the discovery of good in law, the theoretical man’s ways, the clear-eyed idea: Truth eternal, cold. There is a vexation of the war between Heidegger and Nietzsche that marks the center of the end of philosophy. That would be the worst knowing smile, the knot.


Quote:
“You ask if I take the point about the Greeks and the cold impersonal truths Socrates died for. In reflecting upon this, I remembered that Kierkegaard (in Philosophical Fragments) contrasts Socrates and Christ in a very specific way: Socrates is a teacher whose teaching is more important than him; Christ is a teacher Who is more important than His teaching. (I include the honorific capital letters to underscore the point.) I certainly accept that, in broad strokes, S.K. has got this right. Socrates would probably be astonished to hear me talk about philosophy as personal. You are also right that the provenance of the term “person” is Roman law. But I am thinking of it as turned inside-out via the church fathers and the Trinitarian controversies, as it is used to render prosopon (and also hypostasis). It isn’t that I believe Plato would readily speak of “personal truth,” at all. But I think Nietzsche was right to make this innovation – to bring to consciousness what had been implicit. When you write that”


Yes. Excellent & crucial. But why is Christ ‘more important?’ Because he is the logos. That is a theological interpretation of the Greek truth, ‘I am the truth, the trace...life.’ And then, what does Nietzsche do, in his perversity he says, amor fati! So he keeps the theological truth, because if not that, then no Friedrich Nietzsche, so he repeats it eternally. He keeps it, but he is cognizant of its ground in life, he keeps it as a lie, yea. He makes a music, a drumming, a keying into what is great so as to be great unto infinity, and infinitely over-doing all fates as what is kalon. That is the crux (because the alternative is the remote star, the little being, the human that ‘had to die’). But, the ultimate ground, for Nietzsche is a rule of nonsense and unreason, and there there is only the beyond good and evil, there there is no lie. Of course that is beyond the threshold of critical reason, it doesn't make sense or then, also, does it, and so forth: an alienated ground, not knowing even if it is nature.



Quote:
Quote:
the formulation personal philosophy… means life-giving lie, it means not true


I do indeed take your point; but for me (for the way I practice philosophy), philosophy is the wager, the gambit, that there is a genuine alliance between truth and life. This alliance is a particular method, if you will (bearing in mind the etymology) – a kind of “examination”, to be sure, but this needs to be parsed further. (Moreover, it will not be lost upon you that any talk about "way, truth, and life" in a single breath is laden with overtones.)


Yea. But then it includes the question, is life a thing that we can say, life as being? So that we don’t yet question the to be. And the other side is, method—what is that? Is it yet thinking? Or a step in the ladder to thinking.

No, I absolutely disagree that it is better to be around a table, unless that table is such as to also include writing, also to include periods of meditation and thought, and many days for thought. Because that would say, in a way, only life. Impossible, this is the point of my Genetic Circle, the gathering of all forces.
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Bryan Carr



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PostPosted: Fri Dec 12, 2014 12:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Avital/Broder,
You say,

Quote:
I absolutely disagree that it is better to be around a table, unless that table is such as to also include writing, also to include periods of meditation and thought, and many days for thought. Because that would say, in a way, only life. Impossible, this is the point of my Genetic Circle, the gathering of all forces.

I would only want a seminar table if there could be more than one session. Enough time between sessions for, as you say, writing. For thought.

I’m still thinking. But I am now on my third read through Broder’s “Dialectic.” It is not easy sometimes to distinguish your voice in this exchange from his, and one cannot help but begin to speculate on the reasons for this ecritive echoing. Around the seminar table this would be easier. At least until the third or fourth drink. I don’t mind the seminar table spinning like a carousel, the faces blurring and the voice coming from I’m not sure which direction; but I like to know if the punch is spiked before I drink it.

On the very first page of the introduction to this little work, we have this:
Quote:
“The genetic circle is the positive form of the slogan, We Have No Time.”

Then, in chapter four, an admirable excursus beginning with Descartes’ doubt. This doubt is meant to reflect upon and perhaps forestall the possibility of being duped.
Quote:
“I am, thus, the one who can be fooled. A stone cannot be fooled, a reasonless brute cannot be fooled.”


The human animal or the res cogitans or (fill in the blank) will then be that which is capable of being duped. Having just been also working through A.R.’s Stupidty again (did I say that Fighting Theory was my favorite? Now I hesitate… but then, is there anything more stupid than this game of choosing favorites?), I find myself thinking hard about time and the possibility of being wrong. Of being duped. Of “having no time…”

In a meditation upon Descartes, Barry Stroud writes
Quote:
It would be silly to stand for a long time in a quickly filling bus trying to decide on the absolutely best place to sit. Since sitting somewhere in the bus is better than standing, although admittedly not as good as sitting in the best of all possible seats, the best thing to do is to sit down quickly... there is no general answer to the question of how certain we should be before we act, or what possibilities of failure we should be sure to eliminate before doing something. It will vary from case to case, and in each case it will depend on how serious it would be if the act failed, how important it is for it to succeed by a certain time, how it fares in competition on these and other grounds with alternative actions which might be performed instead, and so on.
( The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism. pp 65-6)

Here is one way, then, to think about time, knowing, and the possibility of being wrong. Of being duped – the alazon of reality’s eiron. It seems a pragmatic way. We are in a practical setting; we need to sit down if we are going to rest our feet, so we suspend deliberations and sit. But Stroud also thinks that Descartes would grant the legitimacy of suspending deliberations, but not grant that this counts as knowledge. Boring, you may say. Who cares? Do we really want to play this late-night phil. 101 undergrad game of “but do you ever really know?” OK, OK, I’ll get on with it; my only point is that “having no time” is one way of engaging the matter – we resolve the question of Could I Be Duped by saying, how much time do I have to find out?

Penelope Maddy, engaging Stroud’s account of Descartes, says
Quote:
I admit I can't refute the [Evil Demon] hypothesis, though it's hard for me to see the point of entertaining it. Perhaps this shows that I can't be absolutely certain that I know what I think I know, but that doesn't surprise me so much. I constantly work to remove as many "restrictions" as possible, to conduct my inquiries in a detached and unhurried way, as unimpeded as possible by practical limitations and lingering prejudices. This seems to me the best way there is to find out what the world is like.
(“Second Philosophy” – http://www.socsci.uci.edu/~pjmaddy/bio/2ndphilosophy.pdf -- this is an earlier version of the paper that became the first chapter of Maddy’s book of that name.)

Here Maddy’s protagonist – she calls her the “Second Philosopher,” because she is not engaged in foundational “first philosophy” – is in one sense contesting the Cartesian point (she thinks there is no sense to the notion that there is some further kind of knowledge to be had beyond the workaday zuhanden knowings of our various contexts) but in another sense she is in fact playing the same game. She works to eliminate as many “restrictions” as possible, in other words, to avoid getting on the bus when it’s going to fill up too fast. The second philosopher’s world is an ideal world in which we have “all the time we need,” in principle, even though of course, we all also have to get on the bus when it comes even if there is a long line. (This “in principle” is also at play in the alleged “infinite progress” of science referenced by Strauss later down the same page of Broder.)

I am not interested in adjudicating between Stroud and Maddy or between Cartesian skepticism and scientistic can-do. I am more interested in discerning between A(vital) & B(roder). But I'm running out of time, and it may not be that important. Yet. I’m only pointing out – and that, just barely – the way this notion of time functions as “restriction”, as practical noise, as interference that gets in the way of laboratory conditions and in-principle infinite precision. As the possibility of being fooled.

This appears in yet another light in the first sentence of Levinas’ Totality and Infinity.

Moreover, it will seem I've not even addressed the issue about Nietzsche and amor fati, of the circle of Eternal Recurrence. Yet another way of having no time. Or all the time in the world.
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Avital Ronell
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2014 2:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't tell you how happy I am to find myself with rich and deep thinkers, growing. We must be solicitous of those who light the the turf fire for us. Surely! A huge honor. But, you are experiencing a false image, please 'read closely.' I will endeavour to answer closely, shall I not?

Quote:
Then, in chapter four, an admirable excursus beginning with Descartes’ doubt. This doubt is meant to reflect upon and perhaps forestall the possibility of being duped.



It’s because being is devised as an acute measure of time, being and time. Such a title stands alongside the wider thinking background of ‘being and becoming’, ‘being and appearance’, and the other dominant landscapes.

Quote:
Quote:
“I am, thus, the one who can be fooled. A stone cannot be fooled, a reasonless brute cannot be fooled.”


But, you changed it: You say the one who can, and I say: As the one who can. ‘As’ signals being (besides, you must be wary, when does your writer speak for themselves, and when do they give an exposition of Descartes: it is rude if you don't make a very special allowance for that omnipresent encroachment and tension, nicht, is it not?). For example: One who uses a pencil uses it as a writing implement. This is there in the being of the pencil, as the distinctive mark of what it is it writes. So, the human being is a concession to what the being that is currently possesses.

The sense is this: We speak from the being that is, but we know of the nothing, we know in some way of the outside of history. So, Hegel says: There is not shore from the ocean of history. But, when we truly come to think the nothing, as did Nietzsche, we see there is not only the anti-. If we see beyond the words of the historical being, and go to the nothing, we draw towards what is not really that, what is not the correct form of what is as it is.

So this is the sum-up in a nutshell. Above. But, we must work for it, and see that, not in the definition, but in the intimacy beyond acquaintance. This is a truly basic and millennial question. We must see how we stand with our attitude towards these currents as they burn here.

--

Quote:
Now, ‘that which is capable of being duped’ comes to focus in dramatic personal terms with what is as information. We should remind ourselves of the great importance of this. For the conception of what can be constructed from the instrument, not from the human. Form what can be measured by instrument. Is backed by our innermost soul. We live in the conception of the technological existence., but we know of the contrast with the nothing. We must always remember that by comparison the historical experience of all this is pushed aside by the prominence of the authority of technological truth, essence. Essence and truth are said in no mean way, we can not forget them and enter into something else even if we wish to do so.


‘Having no time’ is not to be duped, but it is to climb over, to challenge, the metaphysics of being and time. As that that increases the principle of being and becoming, being and the nothing, being and appearance and so on.

----
-------

Quote:
The human animal or the res cogitans or (fill in the blank) will then be that which is capable of being duped. Having just been also working through A.R.’s Stupidty again (did I say that Fighting Theory was my favorite? Now I hesitate… but then, is there anything more stupid than this game of choosing favorites?), I find myself thinking hard about time and the possibility of being wrong. Of being duped. Of “having no time…”



-----------
--------------

Quote:
Here Maddy’s protagonist – she calls her the “Second Philosopher,” because she is not engaged in foundational “first philosophy” – is in one sense contesting the Cartesian point (she thinks there is no sense to the notion that there is some further kind of knowledge to be had beyond the workaday zuhanden knowings of our various contexts) but in another sense she is in fact playing the same game. She works to eliminate as many “restrictions” as possible, in other words, to avoid getting on the bus when it’s going to fill up too fast. The second philosopher’s world is an ideal world in which we have “all the time we need,” in principle, even though of course, we all also have to get on the bus when it comes even if there is a long line. (This “in principle” is also at play in the alleged “infinite progress” of science referenced by Strauss later down the same page of Broder.)


Forget all that (you are setting up a very high and false conundrum, be simple, be true, we are true (be normal, be like those who are blanched and real), (we speak from truth, though we know there is no truth, we still break from truth, that is our work)) In the simplest terms: Either what you like, or what is best. The spontaneous is supposed to say, this is what I like. Practical. I deliberate, is supposed to say: thinking takes me to something better than that.

Now, method ('ways', guiding, not giving account) says: I watch what they like. Yet, after I watch I notice another problem, with my new knowledge, what do I like. At the same time another question: Do I simply watch, or do I add to that. Lord Bacon began the claim, presupposition-less, objective awareness. That was, of course, exploded by Nietzsche and others.

Look: a man comes into a war, he wins, he takes a prisoner, now he thinks, spontaneously, eat this captive. This is what he likes to do, he sees it as best. So, that is the meaning of historical relativism, that we don’t think that way. Cultures, bodies in situations, feel like this, loss of identity happens. The nothing gives us an invitation to relate to the cultures, existentialism is never realized, but it opens us to historicism as a certain way of being and existing, to the way our self-awareness changes nothing but us.

Here, I give a ‘cafe nutshell’ version of what is at stake. That means: I say what points without misleading. But, to get closer one must study for years these zones, this is not a removal from the subject as a lie, no, it is a question of how we work with the experience of history. Ach So?, do you understand?. And so, the theoretical understanding is hard, but the conceptuality is in-a-way harder, for it must be lived.


Quote:
Moreover, it will seem I've not even addressed the issue about Nietzsche and amor fati, of the circle of Eternal Recurrence. Yet another way of having no time. Or all the time in the world.


No, the issue you do not see is the technical issue. Between the Kantian subject, read as Aristotelian category, and the value, read as Kantian concept. This is our seismograph, rapidly jumping up and down, and providing experience.

---

It is not so, like me, with the others, but I must outstrip all of them. It's not so like recognition, but like something worse and obliterating. And making apart.
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Bryan Carr



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 5:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

J.B.,

Glad to see I've graduated from idiot to a rich and deep thinker. It's been a diverting little exercise, but I think you are too generous at the end as you were too disgruntled at the beginning. Not yet caught on to Aristotelian moderatio, maybe.../ But it's the lesson of a lifetime.

Despite the toll that playing the straight guy to your eiron has exacted, I appreciate that you sent me back to Ronell's Stupidity; between that and William Desmond on the "idiocy of Being," I have found that a few themes of this conversation have taken some root in my other meditations.

I could respond more thematically to your other points. It is actually an interesting enough exchange for me to be willing to continue; but the pretense is wearisome, not to mention ethically and legally problematic.

My suggestion would be (the Forum moderators permitting, which I cannot guarantee) that you sign in in your own name, and we go from there. Much simpler, nicht?

Unless, of course --
Quote:
In fact, the voice imitator did imitate the voices of quite different people....We were allowed to express our own wishes, which the voice imitator fulfilled most readily. When, however, at the very end, we suggested he imitate his own voice, he said he could not do that. (Thomas Bernhard)


Best regards of the season. Nes Gadol Hayah Sham.
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Avital Ronell
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 6:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just Talking

Apparently the idiots are the ones at the margins where all the true value of life happens, the creativity. So that may not be so bad as one ostensibly reads it to be. Yet, the instinct to brutal censorship is pertinacious in sleepy & conservative spirits, not the creative.

Preliminary to the Examination of the Question (not brought with precise orientation to the orientation to life or to rationality, to way or to hypothetical or speculative propositional thinking), did Heidegger speak from the technological Truth?:

Take this point: Why do you reject Starbucks as an analogy of a world? Let Starbucks say being. If I am outside I can point to a Starbucks, it is a thing. From within a Starbucks' cup says the same thing as a cup is. A cup is the aristos or best way to see the thing there, the singular thing. It is the way most appropriate to the Truth of the Starbucks. Now, that says the same as that although I can make a notion outside the technological truth, formulated as, any means to my end, the most efficacious only. Or, in another form technological essence says, I use everything as a set of tools, in order to control. Other formulations are possible and also have something to say, no one formulation is complete. I have the notion there, that is a cup; its meaning is cup. I know however that it could also be seen as a piece of firewood, or as scratch paper. Those are not the aristos notions, or doxa. One must understand doxa as the look, in the sense that I really am in the cave where I see things that way. According to my view of the look of things.

According to Nietzsche, the analysis is a theater, a doctrine, larger than the individual cave. Now, where is the analogy to connect to the theater, in the case of the Starbucks? Nietzsche says that creativity is not imitation of nature, nor does it come from a teleological source. It means that the individual is an original force, a life-giving force, in the Starbucks, a part of that world like the cup or the coffee or anything else. Now, if that is so, it is already regulated by the Truth of the Starbucks, by what is best there. But, yet, how did we make the analysis to begin with? Where did we start.

We need someone to follow Socrates' negative definition of what it is to be human, and so to examine, the specific difference of the human is questioning. But that is not some choice, it is what we are. It is not a matter of intention, but of being. In a sense, to be, for us, means to be questioned. How can that be so if to be means to serve the technological truth?

I am going to think into this and return with a more clear parsing of this, but I would greatly appreciate an exterior examination here.

PS
Of course, one can say Technological essence, Truth as correctness. But it is not important here. Truth means ability to calculate with certainty, essence means that is what I primarily do there, follow that truth.
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Bryan Carr



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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2014 9:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just to be clear to everyone who may be reading, "Avital Ronell" here should not be mistaken for the actual professor at the European Graduate School, and author of numerous books. James Broder may be an interesting guy and all, but A.R. has not commented on his "Dialectic of the Genetic Circle," or "The Serpentine Crutch," or any other document. Nor has she written any posts on this Forum. All such posts are the work of someone else, presumably Mr. Broder.

I'm not trying to go Ta-Da or play gotcha, and I am not interested in shaming anyone; just wanting to be clear, distinct, and non-misleading, insofar as I can. You know, no metaphors, as someone or other advised earlier in this thread. Call things by their real names.

JB, I reiterate my willingness to continue to exchange posts, in moderation, but solely under non-aliases. Always assuming, of course, that you are not banned. Which, just to be clear, is very different from "censorship."
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